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FFL: Week 3 | NFL: Week 3

Best Ball Strategy 

Wed Aug 7 11:43am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Cooper capable of huge game


If you haven’t heard, best ball fantasy leagues are all the rage these days. These are the fastest growing leagues on our site. Drafts are going off every night (click here). We are here to help you win your best ball league. This column will focus on the strategy of a best ball format, giving you some tips to help you win big. 

If you aren’t familiar, here is a quick rundown of the best ball format. The best ball format means you don’t have to set a weekly lineup. Your best possible roster will be automatically selected after the games are completed for the week. There are no free agent moves during the season. All you do is draft. After the draft is complete, you can sit back and watch the rest of the season. It is all the fun of drafting but without the daily management. 

The best ball leagues normally start nine players: a quarterback, two running backs, two receivers, a tight end, flex, defense and kicker. Drafts are anywhere between 20 and 25 rounds long, making rosters deeper because of the inability to make free agent moves during the season. 

So now that you know the rules, here is a look at some tips for having a successful best ball draft. First off, you are going to take more quarterbacks and tight ends than in a normal draft. Taking three quarterbacks and three tight ends is a smart move in best ball leagues. You just need one player to hit each week, so having more to choose from will help you optimize your chances for that big week. Grabbing three players at each position is the way to go in best ball formats. 

In a best ball league, going with boom or best players is a good idea. Getting players with a high weekly ceiling is a smart move. You need those big weekly games to advance in best ball formats. Guys like Amari Cooper and DeSean Jackson are ranked a little higher for me in this format. These are guys that can drive you a little crazy in standard leagues because of their erratic play, but you can live with that in best ball leagues. There are options on your bench that can makeup for the bad games from Cooper and Jackson. You start just two receivers on a weekly basis and likely have three or four options on your bench. There is a good chance one of your bench options hits any given week, which can makeup for the erratic play of a guy like Cooper if he busts. 

So taking three quarterbacks is a good idea, but grabbing one in the early rounds isn’t. If you think about it, you just need one quarterback to hit each week with a big number. If you take three in the middle to later rounds of your draft, can one of those guys post an elite fantasy number each week? Your answer is likely a big yes. You are better served in a best ball format loading up on running backs and receivers early in your draft. These positions are a little more uncertain, so getting quality running backs and receivers early in your draft is a good plan come draft day. Don’t waste early picks on the quarterback spot. The quarterback position also is crazy deep this year.

The tight end spot is a little different this year. Normally, approaching the tight end position is similar to the quarterback position. Get three in the middle to later rounds of your draft and hope one hits each week. We still suggest getting three tight ends but going early on one of the three elite options this year might give you an advantage. There are three players that stick out head and shoulders above the rest: Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and George Kittle. Taking one of those three players in the second or third round of a best ball draft might give you an advantage over the rest of your league-mates. The lesser tight end options aren’t as likely to score big when they have their good games. This is something to keep in mind come draft day. Going early on one of the three elite tight ends could set you apart this year. They are worth an early-round pick.

There is some debate with this next suggestion, but we think getting two kickers and two defenses is the way to go in best ball. The big reason is that if you take just one at each position, you are going to be giving up six or seven points in one game because of bye weeks. Can you afford to lose those points when every game matters so much in fantasy? We just aren’t sure it is worth risking, especially since rosters are so deep anyway. Every game matters so much in fantasy that giving away just one game could be the difference between making or missing the playoffs. So go ahead and grab two kickers and defenses in the last few rounds of your draft to make sure you are maximizing your points each week of the season.

In closing, use your early picks wisely, getting a lot of talent at running back and receiver. These positions are a little more uncertain, so getting plenty of options at those spots is a good move in this format. And don’t be afraid to go deep at any position, especially if you have some questions marks for your projected top point getter at the position. You also have to take some chances late in the draft, trying to find a player that might emerge later in the season or something along those lines. This is the format to take more risks. You have the roster space, so don’t be afraid to take some chances along the way. There are going to be players selected in this format that you would never consider taking in a standard league. 

Good luck and happy drafting! 

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Marlon Mack Sep 19 11:30pm ET

Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack is his team's lead back. He's far and away the best player at his position on his team. In Week 2, he was stifled by the Tennessee Titans. In Week 3, he has a matchup that is advantageous for him to have a good outcome. The Atlanta Falcons got ran over by the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, and the Colts have an even better offensive line. With the speed to hit a big play at any time, Mack belongs in lineups this week with a good amount of confidence.

From RotoBaller

Jacoby Brissett Sep 19 11:20pm ET

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett has been quietly steady through the first two weeks. In the team's Week 3 matchup, he has another positive matchup. The Atlanta Falcons Defense has a lot of speed, but they haven't been shutting opponents out through the air. Unless Brissett gets an amazing matchup, he'll consistently be a QB2, but he has a lot of upside this week. This game has some shootout potential, and Brissett could benefit as a result.

From RotoBaller

Tavon Austin Sep 19 11:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Tavon Austin (concussion) remains in the concussion protocol, but head coach Jason Garrett said he is improving. Austin doesn't have a very good chance of being cleared for Sunday against the Dolphins at this rate. He's not much of a fantasy consideration as mainly a kick returner and gadget player on offense, although the Cowboys could use him a little more when he returns with Michael Gallup out two to four weeks.

From RotoBaller

Tre'Quan Smith Sep 19 10:30pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith (ankle) missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday. Smith injured his ankle late in the Week 2 loss and appears primed to miss Week 3 on the road against the Seahawks. With Drew Brees (thumb) out at least the next six weeks, Smith doesn't have much redraft value at the moment despite the injury. If he sits out, rookie Deonte Harris and Austin Carr will battle for work behind Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn. All Saints pass-catchers need to be downgraded with Brees on the shelf.

From RotoBaller

Damien Williams Sep 19 10:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams (knee) has missed practice the last two days with a bruised knee and was limping considerably on Thursday. Meanwhile, LeSean McCoy (ankle) was limited on Thursday, so it's looking like Williams will sit out in Week 3 against the Ravens. If McCoy is active, he'll have RB2 upside in what will likely be a fast-paced and high-scoring game. Rookie Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams could step in behind McCoy for some touches. Thompson would have some flex appeal in deeper PPR leagues. If you own Damien Williams, you should prepare as if he won't play this Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Michael Badgley Sep 19 10:20pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers kicker Michael Badgley (groin) was a full participant in practice on Thursday after being limited on Wednesday. After missing the first two games of the season, it looks like Badgley has a good chance to make his season debut in Week 3 against the Texans. He's trending upwards as a fantasy booter, but we'd recommend a wait-and-see approach until he proves his health. The Bolts are hoping he's back full time, as they can't afford anymore special teams miscues that cost them wins. When Badgley is healthy, he can be a decent streaming option in good matchups.

From RotoBaller

James Conner Sep 19 10:10pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (knee) and tight end Vance McDonald (back) were both full participants in practice on Thursday. Conner missed practice entirely on Wednesday, so it appears that he will play in Week 3 against the 49ers. Still, Conner could share more work with backup Jaylen Samuels with Mason Rudolph now at quarterback, making him more of a low-end RB2 against an improved 49ers Defense. McDonald had two touchdowns when Rudolph spelled Big Ben last week and could be a safety blanket for the second-year signal-caller. Consider McDonald a low-end TE1 on the rise.

From RotoBaller

Mason Crosby Sep 19 9:50pm ET

Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby is an effective starting option this week against the Denver Broncos. Crosby has been accurate all season, and in familiar surroundings there is no reason why that would change. The Denver Broncos have allowed just over an average number of field-goal attempts, giving up four so far this season. With the Packers expected to win the matchup, combining the field-goal opportunity with the expectation of extra-point conversions, Crosby should be a starter for fantasy owners this week.

From RotoBaller

Jared Cook Sep 19 9:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook has yet to show fantasy owners any uptick in production after joining a new team this past offseason. Through two games with the Saints, Cook has managed a disappointing 64 yards on four receptions. It's not surprising, but not what fantasy owners were hoping for. Cook is now without his starting quarterback for the next six weeks of the season and cannot be trusted as more than a middle-of-the-road TE2 going forward. Consider him a risky start in Week 3 in Seattle.

From RotoBaller

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Sep 19 9:40pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling should be considered as a flex option with upside this week. Valdes-Scantling had some boom plays in the opening matchup against the Chicago Bears but struggled to make the same impact against the Minnesota Vikings last week. The Denver Broncos have only given up an average of 15.6 points to the position, but haven't faced a quarterback of significant talent yet this season. Given that Davante Adams is due to face a tough personal battle in the matchup, Valdes-Scantling has a great opportunity to bounce back with a few big plays this week.

From RotoBaller

Geronimo Allison Sep 19 9:40pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison has had a wildly inconsistent start to the season, making him a difficult player to trust in lineups this week. Allison wasn't given a single target in the Packers opening matchup and while he had four receptions last week, it was the touchdown that saved his fantasy value. Allison has been used primarily as a large slot player so far this season, but at the moment seems to be a touchdown-or-bust option. While that might change later in the season, fantasy owners should look elsewhere for wide receiver production this week, especially since the Denver Broncos have given up just 15.6 points to the position.

From RotoBaller

Green Bay Packers Sep 19 9:40pm ET

The Green Bay Packers Defenseis a good option for fantasy owners this week. In previous seasons, the defense has struggled to have a consistent impact. However, after multiple additions in the offseason, the Packers have been an effective fantasy option this season. The've only allowed 19 points so far this season, as well as totaling six sacks and five turnovers. The Denver Broncos have struggled to get their offense firing consistently and are on the road in a tough environment, making the Packers worth a start this week.

From RotoBaller

Joe Mixon Sep 19 9:30pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon will look to get on track in Buffalo on Sunday. After injuring his ankle during the Week 1 encounter with the 49ers, Mixon has undoubtedly not been at his best, racking up just 27 yards on 17 rushing attempts to go along with just five receptions. Things won't be easy for the 23-year-old, however, as he will be going up against an efficient Bills Defense that has allowed 23.05 fantasy points to opposing backs while allowing opponents to accumulate just 296.5 total yards this season. Nonetheless, Mixon is still a must-start in most fantasy leagues despite his dismal play this season.

From RotoBaller

Andy Dalton Sep 19 9:10pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will hit the road for a potentially rough Week 3 matchup against Buffalo. The Bills Defense has been one of the most effective units in the league this season, allowing opponents to net just 296.5 yards through the first two games of the season. Dalton has played well, however, throwing four touchdowns with only one interception to go along with a 65.6 completion percentage. With the veteran signal-caller getting some steady production from the likes of John Ross, Tyler Boyd, and Tyler Eifert, Dalton could be a decent streamer in all formats for those in need of a quarterback despite the tough matchup on Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Jason Myers Sep 19 7:50pm ET

Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers probably didn't expect to be rolling into Week 3 with a field goal record of 0-for-1. Seattle made 22 field goals in 27 attempts last season, but after two weeks of 2019, they've attempted just one shot for three points. Even that attempt was a serious long shot as Myers was forced to kick at the end of the first half against Pittsburgh from 58 yards out. That would have tied his career-long, and no one is really upset that he missed that bomb. The good news is that he is 7-for-7 on extra points so far, and eventually, he'll get his chances on field goals.

From RotoBaller

Ted Ginn Jr. Sep 19 7:43pm ET

New Orleans Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr. (thigh) was limited during practice Thursday, Sept. 19..

Fantasy Spin: Ginn likely will lose some fantasy value because of the change at quarterback but is still a big play threat. He could be a flex option in some leagues but could be benched if better options are available.

From TheHuddle

Zach Line Sep 19 7:43pm ET

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (thumb) and WR Tre'Quan Smith (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Sept. 19. FB Zach Line (knee), OG Andrus Peat (ankle) and DT Sheldon Rankins (Achilles) were limited during practice.

From TheHuddle

D.K. Metcalf Sep 19 7:30pm ET

When the Seattle Seahawks drafted wide receiver D.K. Metcalf in the second round of this year's draft, there was a ton of criticism about how Metcalf was nothing but a workout warrior. However, head coach Pete Carroll was enthralled by Metcalf's size and speed combination. He's been searching for that type of receiver for years, trying out the likes of Sidney Rice, Brandon Marshall, and others. None have been the right fit for long, but so far, Metcalf has been fantastic. Metcalf will get another chance to prove the doubters wrong when he faces a soft Saints secondary on Sunday. He should have no problem racking up some more points.

From RotoBaller

Hunter Renfrow Sep 19 7:30pm ET

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow has made a mark in the team's offense, leading the team with eight targets in Week 2. He'll look to follow that up this week as the squad travels to Minnesota to take on the Vikings in a game that will likely force more pass attempts from Derek Carr. With Tyrell Williams drawing coverage from All-Pro Xavier Rhodes, the field could open up more for Renfrow who's starting to become a weapon underneath the secondary. He's too risky to start in DFS and redraft leagues, but with another solid showing, he could be a sneaky option in PPR formats.

From RotoBaller

Will Dissly Sep 19 7:30pm ET

Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly caught his first touchdown of the season last Sunday, and it was quite the relief for him. Dissly doubted that he'd ever play in the NFL again after he tore his patellar tendon last September, and the concern jumped up again when he left the team's Week 1 game early due to banging knees with a teammate. Now, it looks like he might be able to find a regular spot in the rotation of the offense. Dissly ended up hauling in two touchdowns in the win against Pittsburgh, and suddenly, teams are going to have to start scheming for him. With Seattle looking like they'll have no problem reaching the red zone regularly, expect Dissly to be a big, attractive target for Russell Wilson.

From RotoBaller